Living in the North, it’s sometimes easy to forget the mystical beauty that lies right at our doorstep – and with a never-ending offering of picturesque sights, it’s sacrilege to not give it the attention it deserves. This brings me to the historic Peak District. From the famous Kinder Scout to lesser-known beauty spots, we’ve rounded up the best Peak District waterfall walks.
Dominating the centre of England and spanning five whole counties (including Yorkshire), the Peak District has endless countryside to discover, with natural attractions coming out of its ears (well, if it had any).
1. Kinder Downfall
Easiest to access from Edale, Kinder Downfall – by the popular Kinder Scout – is the tallest waterfall in the Peak District, featuring a 30-metre height that the endless water cascades.
Experience it as part of the Hayfield circular route (3 hours) or embark on the 3-hour return journey from Edale to Kinder Scout. The Edale journey is more straight to the point, but for those looking to tick off a few more sights, the Hayfield circular is the best option.
2. Lumsdale Falls
A wonderfully historic spot, Lumsdale features several 17th-century mill buildings, which were previously powered by nearby water features such as Bentley Brook.
The ruins are a brilliant sight to see, but the real highlight is the Falls – which delicately run through the photogenic Lumsdale Valley. The walk from the Matlock area is just 2.5 miles, making it ideal for most abilities.
3. Three Shires Head
Panniers Pool and the Three Shires Head is a truly breathtaking spot, and it’s also right where Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire meet. While the attraction is incredibly beautiful, this one isn’t a simple one to access, with a lot of rough ground to tread – not ideal if you’re unsteady on your feet.
When you do arrive, however, it’s worth the boggy trek, with a stone packhorse bridge greeting you and Panniers Pool, which horses would drink from as they passed the county lines, glistening in all of its glory.
Under the bridge, you’ll find a modest step where the water falls down creating a small waterfall, before swerving around rocks to run into a stream. This 2 and a half-hour walk is best started in Macclesfield, and best ended with a cheeky dip in the pool.
4. Padley Gorge
Often described as “magical”, Padley Gorge is one of the best walks for families, coming in at just two hours when starting at the Longshaw estate in Sheffield.
The route takes visitors across a wooden bridge over Burbage Brook (very storybook-like for the kids), before emerging Padley Gorge – our final destination.
Think rock pools, gentle streams and beautiful waterfalls as you trek on towards your destination, with a picnic and paddling spots galore.
5. Rivelin Valley
One we don’t need to cross into Derbyshire for, Rivelin Valley is a linking point for Sheffield to the Peak District and is the perfect walking trail for those looking to spot pretty waterfalls along the way. Walk the whole 2-mile route starting around Rivelin Park, before discovering the Rivelin Dams, the Wyming Brook and the Redmires reservoirs – the latter of which includes a circular walk edging onto the Peak District.
6. Middle Black Clough
Found near Woodhead Reservoir not too far from Crowden, this waterfall is a beautiful find that’s just off the main road. To reach the waterfall you will have to cross some water, so make sure you have your wellies.
The waterfall is a popular place for wild swimmers, so if you fancy a dip this summer the pool is a grand place to chill out. It’s found at the end of the Longdendale Valley, the best way to find the waterfall is off the main road the A628.
7. Birchen Clough
This Peak District waterfall is found near the iconic Dovestone Reservoir. It is a series of waterfall in the Chew Valley located on the Edge of the national park. As you head up to the clough you’ll come across some smaller waterfalls before reaching the top.
8. Blackden Brook Waterfall
This hike begins from Snake Pass, and the beautiful waterfall is the perfect opportunity for a wild swimming experience like no other. This waterfall is one of several small but attractive waterfalls on this pleasant ascent of the northern slopes of Kinder Scout.
9. Wessenden Reservoir
This waterfall is a peaceful spot to enjoy nature, you’ll come to the waterfall after you pass the reservoir and head down the hill past deer farm. It’s one to catch if you’re heading along the Pennine Way and is tucked away in the moorland.
10. Lathkill Dale
A quaint waterfall about a mile west of Over Haddon. It cascades down a small group of rock into a small plunge pool. The valley run from Monyash to near Youlgreave and is one of the best dales in the White Peak.
Read more: 8 Of The Most Beautiful Lakes And Reservoirs To Visit In Yorkshire
[Featured image: Three Shire/Rob Bendall/Wikimedia/licensed under attribute only license]